The Alaska School Activities Association has decided to enact a bylaw change that bans transgender athletes from competing in girls athletics competitions. The policy is in line with what transpired with the State Board of Education in August, when it passed a regulation that says essentially the same thing.
The vote was 5-3 in favor of the new rule, which is in response to the Board of Education’s new regulation.
Transgender male-to-females are increasingly taking over female sports across America, and Alaska is one of several states that have faced the challenge, primarily in track and field events, where boys can compete more successfully if they just say they are girls and compete in the girls’ category.
The radical Anchorage School District was first out of the gate with a response:
“We are disappointed in ASAA’s decision today. Our hope was this matter would have been tabled. We will be reviewing the decision and the impacts it will have on our students,” said MJ Thim, chief of communications, publications, and external affairs.
Margo Bellamy, president of the Anchorage School Board was incensed in her testimony to the organization:
“There is no historical record in the state of Alaska that provides any data to suggest that Trans-girl athletes pose a widespread threat, unfair competitive circumstances or risk to student safety. AASA should not be setting policy or interfering with local ordinances or local district policies. This Bylaw change will cause school districts to discriminate based on gender/sex and force districts to either comply, with unreasonable and harmful requirements, or seek alternatives for noncompliance,” Bellamy said.
“The mission of the Anchorage School District, is ‘Educating All Students for Success in Life’. This mission embraces ALL of our students’ differences, unique needs, diverse backgrounds and experiences. This Bylaw is the exact opposite of our mission and the nondiscrimination policies that ensure a safe, inclusive and respectful learning and work environment for ALL! Our schools are and must remain safe and nurturing places for our students and our families, this bylaw change will disrupt this priority and cause an under current of hate and fear. I implore you to not pass this bylaw!,” Bellamy wrote to the association.
Anchorage Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt was also unwilling to defend girls sports and had testified against the policy.